December 26, 2019
Daily Reading from the USCCB: Matthew 10:17-22
People sometimes wonder why the Feast of St. Stephen is observed one day after Christmas. It’s not due to closeness of dates, since we don’t know either the date of the birth of Christ or of the martyrdom of St. Stephen. The association of these two observances is rather due to the commonality of what is being observed in them.
Each feast deals with giving. At Christmas we celebrate God’s birth as man and His determination to give himself for our salvation. On the feast of Stephen we remember Stephen’s exemplary gift of himself to preaching Christ.
In the Gospel reading Jesus speaks of betrayal and rejection. That was what both Stephen and Jesus suffered. That’s why they are celebrated together.